Suzette Smith

DISAMBIGUATION

RE: "Whamby Thank You Ma'am" [Letters, March 29], in which reader Anna Murillo accuses Editor in Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey of being a "whamby." (Turns out HK is at least partly right: see "What Is This 'Whamby'?" [Letters, June 28, 2007].)

DEAR MERCURY—I believe the term "whamby" as used by comrade Murillo was originally coined in the Portland Mercury letters by a pro-union carpenter complaining about a trust fund kid. A small group of PDX and Troutdale situationists decided to make the term popular in reference to the new kind of post-second depression creative-class bobos. Jello Biafra makes the point that both the boutique owners of expensive hippie craft in Boulder, Colorado, and the arrogance of dot-com bobos in the good ole Bay Area were the enemy.

-HK

SHAME, SHAME, SHAME

RE: "Dear Jeff Foxworthy" [I Love Television, March 29], an open letter to the comedian/actor providing suggestions for his quiz show, The American Bible Challenge.

DEAR MERCURY—[Wm.] Steven [Humphrey], your article is one of the most offensive and vulgar articles I have ever read in a public publication that is out for anyone to pick up free. If you are on an airplane, as I have been, with a major problem, when normal people start praying for the lord from disaster, are you still going to make fun of them? I think you will pray with the rest of the people.

-Thomas G. Mcree

ACCOUNTING

RE: "BREAKING: Police Force May Take Frashour Back" [Blogtown, March 30], regarding Officer Ron Frashour's attempt to be reinstated after shooting an unarmed man, Aaron Campbell, in the back.

Dear reporters: Police accountability is the only interesting issue in this [mayoral] political race. [Your] job, if you chose to do it, is [to] get [Eileen] Brady, [Jefferson] Smith, and [Charlie] Hales on the record. (1) Will they join the [Albina Ministerial Alliance] parade? (2) What's their day-one plan to rein in the [Portland Police Association]? (3) Will they preside over the police union contract negotiations or leave them to HR underlings?

-posted by J Renaud

PURPLE PROSE

RE: "Polished Peruvian" [Last Supper, March 29]. Food critic Chris Onstad's writing style is officially controversial.

Can someone translate this into English for me: "It is an approachable encapsulation of a playful cuisine, true to itself while highly accessible to an unfamiliar palate."

-posted by Ovidius

Ovidius—"The menu gives a representative overview of what the cuisine is all about in a way that's authentic yet also easy to appreciate for the uninitiated?" I understood what people were criticizing with the earlier "he strode with weary portent" kind of writing, but I don't really see many big words or egregious thesaurus use here.

-posted by geyser

MISSING THE BUS

RE: "Debt on the Tracks" [News, March 29], regarding TriMet's budgetary problems.

The irony [is], a city very close that only has one light rail line and tons of bus service is taking BIGGER cuts than TriMet. TriMet is taking heat for this and that, but they've managed their budget better than most agencies in the area. Cutting capital investment on things that will save the agency tons of money down the road in operational costs will hurt us 10 times over if we start planning for yesterday instead of tomorrow. Seattle (that other city in question) is now suffering much more than Portland with service cuts. The fact is, the light-rail investment, even with the egregious investments in things that are NOT tracks and equipment (like art, sidewalks, mitigation, and other things) will actually provide the area with vastly greater returns than not. Yes, the area is suffering cuts, the White House has done almost nothing to fill the gaps, and cities have voted against stopgap measures. But the fact of the matter is, America, and Portland included, is going to have to do with less handouts. We built the problem, and we're gonna have to just deal with it.

-posted by Adron

DEAL WITH THIS, Adron: You won this week's Mercury letter of the week—just deal with it! While we can't offer you more frequent, more affordable public transportation (YET), we can offer you two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you can watch many, many characters, vehicles, and storylines go off the freaking rails.